Posted by on Jul 26, 2014 |

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We need to look beyond cold, genealogical milestones to gain a better understand Lizzie as a person. When our first attempt to reach out to her family didn’t go so well, we turned to her friends, such as the post that we wrote about Ella Kinnally. The next step in understanding Lizzie as a person requires us to take a look at the language that she used.

Reading through Lizzie’s postcards reveals wonderful, old-fashioned phrases such as:

1) Remember me, as in “…to Jennie,” “…to your son,” and “…to all.”

2) I received your postal… in reference to a letter or a postcard

3) I was out riding with my coachman yesterday… in reference to transportation. This card was postmarked in 1908, when automobile ownership was less than 0.5% of the population.

4) We’ve had grand weather, or a grand time.

5) Jolly, as in “…a jolly good time” or “…a jolly good vacation.”

Some of the phrases are confusing to me, such as:

6)  “Glad to know you had such a good time on your vacation, no doubt by this time you have met your affinity.” Umm–what does meeting my affinity mean?

But, as much as language evolves, much stays the same:

7) having a great time

8) hoping to hear from you soon…

9) Have arrived safe…

10) Give my love to…

12) I have not forgotten you…

The words we choose help define not only who we are as people, but how we fit into the world. By studying the words on her postcards, we’re gathering more insight about Lizzie, her family, and her friends.